Broadband Internet in Fish Lake Township
Fish Lake Township was awarded $1.8 million to aid in construction and infrastructure for Fiber to the home Broadband internet for all households in the township. For more information on 2017 Grant Awardees click on the following link: https://mn.gov/deed/programs-services/broadband/grant-program/
Join the Fish Lake Township Broadband Committee Facebook group for more information https://www.facebook.com/groups/255375664957156/
12/3/18 - Broadband Internet is now available in parts of Fish Lake Township. CenturyLink is currently taking orders to qualifying addresses in the Township. Check your address here. If it is not available at this time, check your address daily.
The following questions were answered by a representative of CenturyLink:
What will the installation charges be? Is there a maximum length of fiber from the pedestal to the home? If so, what is the max length?
A: Traditional install charges for this service are $60; this is a one-time fee that our Price for Life customers pay for install.
Our policy today is that Century Link will pay for the first 700’ of the drop from the pedestal to the home; if the drop to the home is longer than 700’ the subscriber will be asked to cover the additional cost up to the actual cost of the drop. It is possible that this policy could change. *Note on 12/13/18 Centur Link announced that there would be no additional charge to current CenturyLink customers for drops over 700' for all orders placed by March 31, 2019.
Will CL run any specials for Fish Lake Township customers who sign up for service?
A: We currently have our Price for Life which we think is pretty special. If your residents want a sneak peek of pricing, here is our website with all of the current Price for Life information: https://www.centurylink.com/home/ I want to note for your residents, that because they have the Fiber to the Home product, the lowest speed they will be able to order is the 40Mbps service.
Will the crews be repairing the ruts in the right of way.
A: Without question!! We will keep these permits open until such a time we can get in and repair. I would likely say that the bulk of the repair will be done in the spring due to pending wet/winter weather that would make repairs done now have to be re-done later. We’d like to fix it once. Please let me know if there are any immediate issues or problems with right of way use/damage and we’ll do our best to get it taken care of. We like to be good citizens.
It appears that Alpine Ave. has not had any lines run or pedestals installed yet. Could you please confirm when this will be done?
A: Alpine Avenue has not been missed, we are still placing fiber. We know frost is fast approaching and have the plans in place to get all the fiber in the ground prior to frost.
8/2/18 Update: Backbone fiber is being laid out of Cambridge with Rush City and North Branch to follow. Node designs are nearly complete.
6/14/18 Update: The bond has closed and Fish Lake Township has received the proceeds.
5/17/18 Update: The Board has approved the issuance of a $1.23M bond to cover the Township's cost of this project at the May 14, 2018, regular monthly meeting. CenturyLink has started construction in the Township. They will first install the main lines through the Township over the summer and fall. Then they will begin to run subsequent lines that will be used to hook up households. Residents will be notified when CenturyLink will be taking orders for service. Most likely this will be at the end of 2018.
3/19/18 Update: The Business Subsidy Hearing was on 3/12/18. There were approximately 30 residents in attendance along with representatives from the Township's Financing Agent, Ehlers & Associates and representatives from CenturyLink. Resident questions were answered and a general timeline was discussed. The Township Board approved the resolution to allow Ehlers & Associates to begin seeking bond financing for the project. CenturyLink will begin infrastructure construction as soon as the weather permits and construction will continue simultaneously throughout the Township. Infrastructure will be in the right of way of the road, usually on one side. There will be several pedestals also installed with the right of way.
I already have CenturyLink DSL why is the Township partnering with CenturyLink to upgrade internet within the town?
Only a small part of the Township has the option for high-speed DSL from CenturyLink. Even those that do have that option, the further they are away from the hub the quality and speed becomes inferior. Internet availability within the rest of the Township ranges from the option of radio frequency internet; satellite internet, cellular hotspot to no internet at all. Each of those options also have their downfalls, for those who are in a location that is able to get radio frequency the max speed of 0.5 - 6 Mbps depending on that location; satellite internet is metered and has data usage limitations as well as latency issues that make it impractical for some and cellular hotspot has data limitations to those who are in an area that will receive a cellular signal, not to mention the higher expense for these types of internet. Township residents expressed their concerns with the lack of quality high-speed internet and how it was affecting their ability to work from home, complete school work and studying, perform day to day tasks as well as concern that it will affect the future sales of their homes, just to mention a few.
What exactly is Fiber Broadband and why would I want it?
A fiber optic cable is a network cable that contains strands of glass fibers inside an insulated casing. They're designed for long distance, very high-performance data networking, and telecommunications. Compared to wired cables, fiber optic cables provide higher bandwidth and can transmit data over longer distances. Fiber optic cables support much of the world's internet, cable television and telephone systems. Whereas most fiber is installed to support long-distance connections between cities and countries, some residential internet providers have invested in extending their fiber installations to suburban and rural neighborhoods for direct access by households. Providers and industry professionals call this Fiber to the Home (FTTH) "last mile" installations. These services can provide gigabit (1 Gbps) internet speeds to each household. Even though 1-gigabit service is more than any typical household would need at this time, lower cost lower capacity packages are available.
How much is this project and how is it being paid for?
The total project is $4.5M and it is being paid for in part by a broadband grant from the State of MN for $1.8M, CenturyLink CAFII Funds of $1.5M and the Township will pay a percentage of the project cost not to exceed $1.2M The Township will obtain a tax abatement bond for its portion of the project payable over 15 years. This will NOT be a special assessment to Township residents. This bond will be repaid from the annual township levy where a specific individual line item will be budgeted for this purpose only. When the bond has been repaid in full, that line item will be removed from the levy. A property zoned residential valued at $250,000 and a property zoned agricultural valued at $500,000 will see approximately a $140 increase in their Township taxes per year over the course of the bond repayment.
Am I required to order internet service from CenturyLink?
No. If you are happy with your current internet service or do not care to have any internet service, you are not required to start service. However, the option will be there in the future should you chose to have fiber internet service. Current copper DSL lines will remain operational in conjunction with the fiber service.
Will fiber broadband service be available to ALL Township properties/residents and when will it be available?
Upon completion of the fiber infrastructure, every property in the Township will have the ability to obtain fiber internet service. Projected availability of service is the beginning of 2nd quarter 2019. You will be notified by CenturyLink when service becomes available in your area, at that time you may call and order service. As part of the installation process, CenturyLink will run the fiber line from the pedestal into the home to connect service (NON-CenturyLink customers will be charged $1.70/foot for anything over 700' from the pedestal)
If I order service from CenturyLink, how much will it cost?
Current Price for Life, no contact, internet only prices are listed on the CL website as 40 Mbps $45/mo, 100 Mbps $60/mo, 1 Gig $80/mo. For the most up to date pricing and offers visit the CenturyLink website. Note: since fiber internet is not yet available in our township you will need to use an address where it is currently available for the most up to date Fiber Internet pricing plans.
What kind of speeds will be available from CenturyLink?
The minimum fiber speed is 40 Mbps and the maximum is 1000 Mbps (1 Gig) at this time.
Who will own the infrastructure and be required to maintain them?
CenturyLink will own and be responsible for all maintenance and repair costs of the fiberoptic lines.
*see CenturyLink's website for the most up to date pricing and information on their plans.